BY JOSEPHINE AGBONKHESE
Towering roles imposed on women by society, as well as traditionally-defined roles, almost make being male more enviable than being female. Yet, the same woman who works twice as hard as the man is said to have a longer life span.
In this edition, we take a look at some reasons women live longer than men.
Women are tougher
Women are biologically and sociologically at an advantage from the time they’re conceived to the time they die.
Researchers also say females are tougher right from the uterus. Two and a half as many boys are conceived as girls, but they’re so much more likely to succumb to prenatal infection or other issues in the womb that by the time they’re born, the ratio is close to one to one.
They’re also slower to develop physically than girls prenatally, which means they’re more likely to die if born premature due to underdeveloped lung or brain development.
Women succumb to heart disease later
Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women, but men are more likely to develop it—and die from it—as early as their 30s and 40s. Women, on the other hand, typically develop heart disease 10 years later than men. They’re protected from it until menopause, since their bodies churn out estrogen, which helps keep arteries strong and flexible.
Women take calculated risks
Unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in men, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. Again, you can blame it on biology: the frontal lobes of the brain—which deal with responsibility and risk calculation—develop much more slowly in males than females, experts say.
Women share worries
Except for married men, most men tend to hold their stress and worries close to their chest, while women tend to reach out and talk to others.
People who share their worries are 50% more likely to live longer.
Women take better care of their health
Men are 24% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22% more likely to skip out on cholesterol testing, experts say.
This is generally because men often deny illness; they minimize symptoms because they don’t want to go to a doctor and find out something is wrong.